College freshmen battle rain on move-in day

By Mary Macedo | Sep 03, 2017
Photo by: Mary Macedo Girls from the university's field hockey team volunteered to help the incoming freshman on move-in day.

Rain lingering throughout nearly the entire freshman move-in at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth added a challenge for the 1,800 members of the Class of 2021 trying to settle into their new home.

Resident directors and student resident assistants, joined by student and staff volunteers, came prepared wearing rain ponchos as they helped freshmen wheel their belongings in orange bins through the campus and into the freshman dorms on September 3. Students were given one hour blocks to move in between 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. based on their room assignments.

"The rain makes it hard to move tech stuff and electronics," junior Resident Assistant Emily West said. "A kid's game system got wet."

West said the rain makes it hard, but no matter what move-in day is always chaotic.

Director of Housing and Residential Life Lucinda Poudrier-Aaronson explained that the process could have faced delays if conditions reached torrential rain or thunderstorms. Simply changing move-in to the next day would have been difficult because there are freshman orientation events that will be taking place.

"We always have a rain plan, but families have the choice to move in any time after [students’] scheduled move-in times," Poudrier-Aaronson said.

Resident Director Cheryl Vieira said that regardless of the rain, families and volunteers she saw were all smiles. Throughout the day, parents bid farewell to their college-bound students, like Liam Hebert, a freshman business major who scored a single dorm.

Wheeling his own cart filled with necessities, his mother Christelle Hebert stood nearby with an equally full cart of his belongings.

"He's my baby," Christelle said. "He's my last one going off to college; the last one was four years ago. My son asked me if it was going to be harder because he's my last, but it’s the same, but in a different way."

Christelle said it is bittersweet, but she is excited to see her son grow and learn how to balance life.

Freshmen have a schedule of orientation events they’ll be attending before the first day of classes on September 6, but some students, like business major Kyle Jordan, already know some of their fellow students.

"I'm excited, because I know my roommate personally," Jordan said waiting in line for the elevator with his belongings.

"You're not going to make me cry already," Jordan's dad, Chris Jordan added. "It's a bittersweet moment."

Chris explained that it will be hard not getting to see his son every day.

"I am happy for him, and the journey in life he is just beginning " Chris said.

Resident assistants and volunteer students help wheel carts of freshman belongings into the resident halls. (Photo by: Mary Macedo)
Freshman Kyle Jordan and his father Chris Jordan share a moment together while waiting in line for the elevator. (Photo by: Mary Macedo)
Freshmen and their families line hallway taking cover from the rain as they wait for the elevator. (Photo by: Mary Macedo)
Freshman business major Liam Hebert and his mother Christelle Hebert wait in the hallway with carts full of his belongings. (Photo by: Mary Macedo)
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